Tag Archives: New Jersey Governor Election

Codey ‘wins’ by opting out of NJ Gov election

Dick Codey made the right choice today when he decided not to enter this year’s gubernatorial campaign.

Despite his popularity, the odds of Codey defeating Chris Christie in November were slim. In fact, he wouldn’t even have been a lock to win the Democratic nomination, given the roles that powerbrokers and factions play in the party.

Had Codey been the Democratic standard-bearer, he would have been the target of negative campaigning and personal attacks over the course of the campaign. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life for any candidate seeking office today.

NJ Sen. Richard Codey

But in Codey’s case, the content of attack ads (even if untrue or misleading) could – in the span of a few months – jeopardize the largely positive image he built during four decades in public life. He also runs the risk of tarnishing his legacy.

Instead, Codey takes a page from Jerry Seinfeld and moves toward the end of his public career on a positive note. “When you hit that high note, you say goodnight and walk off,” the popular comedian explained in a Seinfeld episode titled “The Burning.”

Codey’s decision also could score him some points with Christie. A Codey-Christie contest would have been competitive and expensive. Codey’s now bought himself a bargaining chip with the front office.

Just how all of this plays out is uncertain, but with more than eight more months to go before Election Day, it looks like New Jersey is in for another interesting and unpredictable gubernatorial campaign.

# # #

We Want the World and We Want It Now

We live in a world that is immediate and instantaneous.

With digital photography, we never have to wait to see a picture. Airline tickets, hotel reservations and orders from the corner deli are confirmed a soon as we make them. Whether it is the major news events of the day, the scores of our favorite sporting events or how little Johnny did in school in today, the internet makes it possible to instantly learn information. Modern technology also allows us to follow developments wherever we are, thanks to the proliferation of mobile phones and handheld devices.

But when it comes to elections, we have to wait more than two months before the results take effect. Continue reading

A Ray of Sunshine After a Dark Campaign

As soon as the outcome of Tuesday’s election was apparent, the speculation began:

  • Was the election a referendum on President Obama?
  • How could a pro-life Republican win in a blue state such as New Jersey?
  • Why did the Democratic base fail to deliver the votes needed to re-elect the incumbent Governor?

Although these and other questions make for the type of healthy debate that is likely to continue long into the future, there is one topic that has largely been absent Continue reading

Can We Stop Our Political Campaigns from Degenerating?

When New Jersey’s 2009 campaign for Governor comes to a close on Tuesday night, one candidate will bask in the glory of victory. The state’s reputation, however, won’t be as lucky. Once again, the level of discourse in a New Jersey political campaign has gone so low that pundits around the nation are chastising the Garden State. Continue reading

Debates, Tax Rates and Candidate Weights

Perhaps, it is apropos that tonight’s gubernatorial debate will not be available on live television. With the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies engaged in post-season play, baseball is likely to be a larger draw in the two media markets that dominate the Garden State.

But there’s more to this story. It’s not just the baseball post-season that is responsible for a lack of interest in the debate. Continue reading

Is the Devil in the Details?

As the race for Governor enters its final few weeks, Chris Christie must make a strategic decision that could determine the outcome of the election:

Should the GOP candidate put forth a detailed economic plan that addresses property taxes and other fiscal issues? Or should he continue to speak only in broad generalities and quick sound bites? Had Christie maintained his double-digit lead in the polls, the decision would have been a no-brainer. Why risk getting into details when you’re riding high and it looks like you have a clear road to the State House? Continue reading

What Did the Press Do Over Summer Vacation?

Now that Labor Day has passed, the kids are back at school writing essays about how they spent their summer vacations.  But why let the kids have all the fun? Why not take a look at what the New Jersey media did over the summer as they covered the 2009 race for Governor?

To do so, I conducted a rather unscientific survey using the Access World News database, which contains the full text content of more than 3,000 newspapers, including the dailies that cover the Garden State.   Continue reading

It May Not be the Economy After All

More often than not, elections come down to economic matters – taxes, jobs and other pocketbook issues. Year after year, the famous James Carville mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid,” continues to ring true.

When New Jersey’s race for governor began taking shape in the spring, it did in fact look like the economy would be on the front burner. “It will be an early test of whether the Democratic response to the financial crisis was effective,” NBC’s David Gregory said in June.

For Republican challenger Chris Christie, this Continue reading

Should Political Campaigns Take an All-Star Break?

Major League Baseball took its annual mid-season break for the All-Star Game this week, but there was no break in the action in New Jersey’s 2009 campaign for governor.

Two days after throwing out the first pitch at the All-Star Game in St. Louis, President Barack Obama headed to New Jersey to campaign with Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine.  And earlier in the week, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele visited the Garden State for an appearance with GOP challenger Chris Christie. Continue reading

Just What Does $340,000 Buy You These Days?

By raising more than $340,000 for his independent campaign for governor, Chris Daggett has qualified for public matching funds, as well as the right to participate in two official debates this fall.

Just what else will result from having met the $340,000 threshold is not so clear.

Does it give Daggett a realistic opportunity to compete with the two major party candidates? Will his candidacy take votes away from Continue reading